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December 1979

Iris Neovascular Tufts: Relationship to Rubeosis, Insulin, and Hypotony

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago. Dr Mason is now with the Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(12):2346-2352. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020020562014

• Iris neovascular tufts are abnormal proliferations of twisted microcapillary loops that project from the iris pupillary border. They appear to be a morphologic variant of rubeosis iridis. This study searched for iris neovascular tufts by biomicroscopy and iris fluorescein angiography. They were found in two of 16 (12.5%) myotonic dystrophy patients, in two of 30 (6.7%) maturity-onset diabetics, and in zero of 14 (0%) juvenile-onset diabetics. Myotonics and adult-onset diabetics have in common pancreatic β-cell dysfunction, abnormally high serum insulin levels, and possibly defective hormone-receptor interactions. Whether these factors contribute to the altered blood-iris barrier and iris neovascular tufts in these groups is uncertain, but a correlation is suggested because the myotonic with the highest insulin level also had the most prominent tufts. Hyperinsulinemia and ocular hypotony are associated with neovascular tufts.

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